Childrearing

Breaking Up With Your Daycare Is Harder Than Dumping A Boyfriend

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daycare-teacher-kidsBreaking up is hard to do. When Neil Sedaka wrote those words, I am fairly confident he was not referring to breaking up with your child’s daycare provider. Nevertheless, they apply just as well. My daughter started with her daycare just after she turned one and, apart from trips out of town with us to visit family, it is the only out-of-home care she has ever had. It is the place where she first got used to not having mama or dada around with her all day. It is where she met her first little friend. It is where she made her first piece of Father’s Day art for us to take home and hang on the wall (it’s a masterpiece, in case you are wondering). In short, it is a place with a lot of good memories for her.

And it is not just good memories on my daughter’s part. When my daughter first started daycare, her caretaker patiently returned my guilt-ridden morning phone calls to assure me that my daughter had stopped crying almost as soon as I had stepped out the door. I spent plenty of time with my daughter’s daycare provider chatting about different parenting styles, charting milestones, and laughing over my daughter’s little quirks. While not exactly friends, we came to genuinely like one another and to enjoy our little drop-off and pick-up visits. She has become an integral part of my daughter’s toddlerhood.

So why am I breaking up with her? Well, as with most relationships, it’s complicated. There is the fact that we are moving closer to downtown, so the trip to and from my daughter’s current daycare will now add an extra hour to our already busy day. And of course we are concerned because the little friends at my daughter’s daycare are moving away, and she will not have anyone in her age group to play with anymore. Oh, and there were also those three times my daughter took off running to the road with her daycare provider in hot pursuit. Yeah, that happened, and I have had nightmares ever since.

Obviously, I have very good reasons to move my daughter to a new daycare. And even if I was just moving her on a whim, she is my child and it is completely my call. So why is it do damn hard?

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